Mickelson Love Share 54-Hole at Baltusrol

By Sports NetworkAugust 13, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PGA ChampionshipSPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III share the lead at six-under-par 204 after three rounds of the 87th PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club.
 
Mickelson, who has held at least a piece of the lead after each of the first three rounds, struggled to a two-over 72 on Saturday. Love, the 1997 PGA Champion, posted his third consecutive round of two-under 68.
 
Davis Love III
Davis Love III posted a six birdie, four bogey day to climb into a tie with Phil Mickelson.
The last time Mickelson held at least a share of the third-round lead in a major championship was the 2004 Masters, the site of his only victory in the major spotlight.
 
Love's last 54-hole lead in a major was the '97 PGA at Winged Foot, which was also his only major title.
 
'I enjoy playing with Phil, and Jim, his caddie, is one of my good friends. It'll be a lot of fun,' said Love, who tied for sixth at this year's U.S. Open, but missed the cut in the other two majors. 'We're playing for the PGA tomorrow, so friendship is aside, but it'll be a good day.'
 
Thomas Bjorn matched several records on Saturday. He fired a seven-under 63 in the third round and vaulted up to third place at five-under-par 205.
 
The 63 equaled the best round in any major championship and was the ninth time that number was posted in a PGA Championship. Bjorn tied Baltusrol's course record that Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf shot in the 1980 U.S. Open.
 
'To post this kind of number is certainly special for me, and I'll certainly remember that for the rest of my life,' said Bjorn. 'It's a long list, but it's a good list to be a part of.'
 
Tiger Woods, who birdied the 18th hole on Friday to make the cut on the number, carded a four-under 66 on Saturday and moved into a tie for 20th at even-par 210.
 
Woods bogeyed his first hole, then recorded five birdies the rest of the way. He had several more opportunities, but missed a five-footer for birdie at 12 and 12-footer at 13.
 
On the par-five 18th, he reached the green in two, but blew his 25-foot eagle try 15 feet past the hole. Woods missed the birdie try and left with a three- putt par.
 
'It's not about misreading anything that speed. I just hit it way too hard,' said Woods, referring to his three-putt par at 18.
 
Defending champion Vijay Singh collected 17 pars, then birdied No. 18 for a one-under 69. He is tied for fourth place at minus-four with 1995 winner Steve Elkington (68), Pat Perez (67) and Stuart Appleby (69).
 
Everyone will be looking up at the American co-leaders.
 
Love, who began the third round four behind Mickelson, flew out of the gate with a five-foot birdie putt at the first. He made it two in a row with a 15- footer at the second, but things quickly turned for Love.
 
He fell down the leaderboard with back-to-back bogeys at six and seven, then dropped another shot to par at the 10th to fall to three-under par for the championship.
 
Luckily for Love, Mickelson was sinking as well.
 
He made a mess of the second hole en route to a bogey, then three-putted from 35 feet for a bogey at the fifth. Mickelson picked up his second bogey in a row at six when he went from the left rough to a greenside bunker. That bogey dropped him into a tie with Bjorn, who had already been in the clubhouse for several hours.
 
Love made the first move to distance himself from the rest of the field. He birdied the 11th, then drained a seven-foot birdie putt at the 13th to get within one of Mickelson, who coasted along with pars, including a 12-foot save at the ninth.
 
Mickelson tallied his first birdie of the round on Saturday at the par-three 12th. He sank the 15-foot putt to move one ahead of Bjorn and Love.
 
Love rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt at the 15th to join Mickelson atop the leaderboard at minus-six. Love fell out of the tie quickly as he three-putted the 16th green for a bogey.
 
Baltusrol's par-five closing holes played a key role in the third round. Love ripped a drive down the fairway and knocked his second through the green at the 650-yard 17th. He hit a beautiful pitch that ran three feet past the hole, but he converted the birdie putt to rejoin Mickelson in the lead.
 
Love parred 18 to get in at minus-six, but with Mickelson's length, one had to expect the lefthander to collect at least one birdie. Mickelson certainly had his chances.
 
At 17, Mickelson actually laid up short with his second, but knocked a wedge to six feet. He missed that putt, but still had the reachable 18th. Mickelson drove it into the left rough, then hit his second over the green. He received a drop as he was near a tower, then pitched his third five feet short. Mickelson missed that short one and so it is a tie with one round to play.
 
'To still be in the lead is a big bonus,' admitted Mickelson, whose best finish at the PGA was second in 2001. 'I missed a couple of short putts on 17 and 18, that were tough, but I still could have made them. I fought hard to stay in the lead.'
 
The final pairing is an interesting twosome. They are Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup partners, but both are more known for their unfortunate lack of success in the majors.
 
Mickelson and Love have combined for 44 PGA Tour victories, but only two major championships. Each carried the tag, 'Best Player to Never Win a Major,' but each has put themselves in position for major No. 2.
 
'I've been disappointed,' admitted Love, referring to his poor record in majors. 'You arrogantly think that if you win one, the rest are easy. The second one is just as hard.'
 
Mickelson decided not to speak about a possible second major.
 
'I've got a lot to worry about for the next 18 holes, and the last thing I want to do is jump ahead,' said Mickelson.
 
Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen (69), 2003 British Open winner Ben Curtis (67), Jason Bohn (68), Greg Owen (70) and Lee Westwood (71) are knotted in eighth at minus-three.
 
Jerry Kelly, who was alone in second after the second round, shot a four-over 74 and is part of a group tied for 14th place at one-under-par 209.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.